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Justice Michael A. Cherry

 Justice Cherry

Justice Michael A. Cherry has been an attorney in Nevada since 1970 and was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006. He ran unopposed for a second 6-year term in November of 2012, when he served as Chief Justice for the Nevada Supreme Court. Justice Cherry will serve as Chief Justice through 2017.

While he has had a long career in private practice, he always seemed to have involved himself in some public service within the legal community.

He began his career as a Deputy Clark County Public Defender before becoming a partner in the law firms of Manos & Cherry and later Cherry, Bailus & Kelesis. In 1981, Justice Cherry was named as Special Master of the MGM Grand Hotel Fire Litigation and in 1983 he assumed the duties of Special Master of the Las Vegas Hilton Fire Litigation. As Special Master, Judge Cherry served as liaison between plaintiffs’ attorneys, defense attorneys and the court during these multi-million dollar cases. His work as Special Master gained him nationwide recognition and the procedures he established are now a part of most mass disaster litigation.

Justice Cherry served as an Alternate Municipal Judge for the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson, as well as Justice of the Peace Pro Tem and Small Claims Referee for Clark County. In 1994 he became an instructor for the University of Phoenix, teaching business law and history.

Then in 1997 Justice Cherry was named to lead the newly created Clark County Special Public Defender’s Office to handle major homicide cases and conflict cases from the county public defender’s office. He led a staff of six attorneys and served in that capacity until being elected to Department 17 of the Eighth Judicial District Court in November 1998.

Justice Cherry chairs the Indigent Defense Commission that is examining how the justice system deals with criminal defendants who cannot hire their own attorneys.  He also is the supervising justice over the Senior Justice and Judge Program.

Justice Cherry earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1966 and a juris doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law in 1969. A native of St. Louis, he is the father of two and grandfather of two. Justice Cherry ran unopposed for a second term in November of 2012. His new 6-year term will end in January 2019.

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